“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere” – MLK
Sometimes you have to stand up for what’s morally right. Did you know that Martin Luther King Jr was arrested a total of 29 times. His most memorable arrest was in 1963 while in Birmingham, Alabama where he wrote a famous letter about the injustice that was happening in this state. At the time, Birmingham was thought to be the most segregated city in America. While arrested, Dr. King was forced into solitary confinement and was denied access to his lawyer and his phone call. It was so bad that President John F. Kennedy had to step in to intervene. The infamous letter from Birmingham Jail was written in response to a statement by eight clergymen in the newspaper speaking against MLK and his methods during the Civil Rights Movement. In his letter from jail, he explained why he had broken the law and shed light onto the situation at hand and harsh reality for Black America. “I am here because injustice is here.” he wrote. “I would agree with Saint Augustine that ‘an unjust law is no law at all.” In his letter, he turned the pages on White America and condemned them for passively sitting on the sidelines being mere viewers of the injustice around them. This letter helped to bring attention nation-wide to what was going on in Alabama. Not long after Dr. King’s release, President Kennedy announced his plans to the nation to present monumental civil rights legislation to the U.S. Congress. Although this announcement did not make racism go away or make the problems go away for Black America, it was some type of progress in the right direction. As Dr. King once said, “our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter.” So speak up and say something. You have a voice, so use it!